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Unformatted text preview: Blunt nodded. Then he jerked out, going rather red
as he did so: 'Care for some decent skins any time? If so, I could get 'em for you.' 'Oh! please do,' cried
Flora. 'Will you really? You won't forget?' 'I shan't forget,' said Hector Blunt.
He added, in a sudden burst of communicativeness: 'Time I went. I'm no good in this sort of life. Haven't
got the manners for it. I'm a rough fellow, no use in society.
Never remember the things one's expected to say. Yes, time I went.' 'But you're not going at once,' cried
Flora. 'No - not while we're in all this trouble. Oh! please. If you go ' She turned away a little.
'You want me to stay?' asked Blunt.
He spoke deliberately but quite simply.
'We all-' 'I meant you personally,' said Blunt, with directness.
Flora turned slowly back again and met his eyes.
'I want you to stay,' she said, 'if - if that makes any difference.' 'It makes all the difference,' said Blunt.
There was a moment's silence. They sat down on the stone seat by the goldfish pond. It seemed as
though neither °f them knew quite what to say next.
'It - it's such a lovely morning,' said Flora at last. 'You know, I can't help feeling happy, in spite - in spite
of everything. That's awful, I suppose?' 'Quite natural,' said Blunt. 'Never saw your uncle until two years
ago, did you? Can't be expected to grieve very much. Much better to have no humbug about it.' 'There's
something awfully consoling about you,' said Flora. 'You make things seems so simple.' 'Things are
simple as a rule,' said the big-game hunter.
'Not always,' said Flora.
Her voice had lowered itself, and I saw Blunt turn and look at her, bringing his eyes back from
(apparently) the coast of Africa to do so. He evidently put his own construction on her change of tone,
for he said, after a minute or two, in rather an abrupt manner: 'I say, you know, you mustn't worry. About
that young chap, I mean. Inspector's an ass. Everybody knows utterly absurd to think he could have
done it. Man from outside. Burglar chap. That's the only possible solution.' Flora turned to look at him.
'You really think so?' 'Don't you?' said Blunt quickly.
'I - oh, yes, of course.' Another silence, and then Flora burst out: 'I'm - I'll tell you why I felt so happy
However heartless you think me, I'd rather tell you. It's because the lawyer has been - Mr Hammond. He
told us about the will. Uncle Roger has left me twenty thousand pounds. Think of it - twenty thousand
beautiful pounds.' Blunt looked surprised.
'Does it mean so much to you?' 'Mean much to me? Why, it's everything. Freedom - life - no more
scheming and scraping and lying ' 'Lying?' said Blunt, sharply interrupting. Flora seemed taken aback for a minute.
'You know what I mean,' she said uncertainly. 'Pretending to be thankful for all the nasty cast-off things
rich relations give you. Last year's coat and skirts and hats.' 'Don't know much about ladies' clothes;
should have said you were always very well turned out.' 'It cost me something, though,' said Fl...
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